It takes a lot to make me laugh. I’m not talking about a chuckle (which is really just “smize” with a noise), I do that often, but a belly laugh is harder to come by.
And while I’m a voracious reader, I sometimes feel that books don’t always do a great job of making me laugh really hard… at least not in the same way that a stand-up comedy special can. But of course, there are some authors that definitely have made me LOL and there’s no greater satisfaction than finding a book that can make you howl with laughter.
And for that reason, I present you with seven books that will not only make you laugh, but will also make you think more deeply about the world around you.
Enjoy, share with your friends, and let us know what books you’d add to the list.
Recommended by: Alexandra Hayes, Audience Engagement Editor at Thrive Global
Why She Loved It: “I was recommended this book by my friend Alexis — a prolific reader who’s always pointing me toward novels that are both smart and funny — and was hooked instantly. It was my subway read, and it would have me laughing out loud at 5:30 in the morning. It’s about a boy named Samuel and the man he later became, but also about his mother, and politics, love, and trauma. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be funny, but it definitely made me laugh. And think. Go read it!”
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Recommended By: Katie Speisman, Recruiter
Why She Loved It: “The main character was outlandish, yet so relatable. The book was a light, dry comical read that took me on a true roller coaster. It’s modern and takes place in Microsoft-dominated suburbia outside of Seattle. There were great moral takeaways about family, self-worth and love… but really, I loved it because it made me laugh out loud. I actually cried when I finished it!”
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson
Recommended by: Kirsten Harman, Project Manager
Why She Loved It: “It’s a light take on Buddhism and the author is hilarious! It teaches you what you should be caring about and what you should stop focusing on.”
Just the Funny Parts: …And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking into the Hollywood Boy’s Club by Nell Scovell
Recommended by: Emily Johnson, Deputy Editor
Why She Loved It: “It’s wildly hilarious but still has a lot of important, candid observations about working as a woman in Hollywood. I learned so much about what it takes to get ahead, and the enormous blockades female writers still face as they try to promote their projects.”
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling
Recommended by: Rebecca Muller, Content Fellow
Why She Loved It: “I loved it because of Mindy Kaling’s writing! She’s so honest and so funny. She talks openly about anxiety, and the embarrassing awkward moments we all have!”
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
Recommended by: Kathryn Levene, Chief of Staff
Why She Loved It: “Irby’s voice is so authentic. Her observations are astute and the essays are just HILARIOUS. She writes about being a millenial and dating, and she also covers bisexual themes, which you don’t always find in literature. Plus, her cat in the book is amazing.”
Genre: Children’s Book
Recommended by: Tess Gatof, Teacher
Why She Loved It: “I mean… you can’t not laugh while reading this book. It’s a fictional children’s story of Mike Pence’s grandson who just happens to be a gay bunny. Levity in the context of politics is scarce these days so it’s refreshing to be reminded of the absurdity in an uplifting way. The best part about it is that it’s great for the whole family and teaches all about acceptance no matter who you love.”
Recommended by: Daniel Shaffer, Engineer
Why He Loved It: “I wasn’t laughing out loud throughout the entire book, but there were some sections that were so funny because he was such a great writer. It was a very entertaining read, and was a fascinating look into the world of kitchens and all that goes on to make a restaurant run. Plus, I got to learn a bit about his personal story. He’s a hilarious guy whose voice is so missed. ”